THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE GRAND TRAVERSE MOUNTAIN BIKE ASSOCIATION WINTER 2012
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A Note From our Managing
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE GRAND TRAVERSE MOUNTAIN BIKE ASSOCIATION MANAGING PUBLISHER Dave Mann EDITOR Erin Monigold PUBLICATION DESIGNER & PRODUCTION MANAGER Heidi Jones GRAPHIC DESIGN of ADS Bethany Kucera CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Cody Sovis, Erin Crowell, Kandace Chapple, Leah Clark, John Yonkers, Cindy Diver, Danielle Musto CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS John Yonkers, Cody Sovis, Erin Crowell, Shannon Billau, Joel Billau, Chelsea Bromley, Action Sports Images, Dave Mann, Joel Gaff, Jody Hofstra MOUNTAIN BIKE & POWER SPORTS GROUP MANAGER Dave Mann ADVERTISING SALES EXECUTIVE Heidi Jones GTMTBA PO Box 215 | Acme MI 49610 Letters to the editor and inquiries: www.gtmtba.com Mention of products or services in either advertisements or articles does not constitute endorsement by the publisher. Publisher reserves the right to refuse advertisements for any reason. Views expressed in articles are solely those of the writers. Copyright by the GTMTBA, LLC 2012. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Information subject to change at any time. GTMTBA is not responsible or liable for errors, omissions or changes in information.
elcome to the first issue of Northern Motion, the magazine of the Grand Traverse Mountain Bike Association. We have a lot of new and exciting projects in the works; the first of many is the Traverse Area Trails Map which has been published and is in the process of being distributed around Traverse City, Michigan and to GTMTBA Members from around the U.S. We have been pleasantly surprised at how many of these Trail Maps we’ve mailed to people all around the U.S. who enjoy visiting Traverse City and Northern Michigan to mountain bike, cross-country ski, snowshoe and hike. Traverse City is truly a world class mountain biking destination. We love winter and the many outdoor winter sports available in Northern Michigan and especially being able to bike in the winter with our new Salsa Mukluk Fat Tire Bike. We’ve seen quite a few people out riding this season in areas that were previously inaccessible to bicycles in the winter, and we look forward to the growth of fat tire cycling in the area. Stop by Brick Wheels for a demo ride and to purchase your Mukluk fat tire bike today! We are also looking forward to spring and the start of mountain biking season. We’re gearing up the GTMTBA Cycling Team and have some top notch men and women athletes on our team who will be competing under our sponsorship in events around Michigan. We thank our members for supporting us and especially the advertisers on the Traverse Area Trails Map and the TART and VASA Organizations. Please support these local businesses; they are also dedicated Northern Michigan outdoorsmen and women and mountain biking enthusiasts. We plan to continue to grow the GTMTBA over the years and to use our members' and readers' input to ensure we stay focused on what you want to see, do, and read about and to continue to have fun in the process. We enjoy being innovative and creative and on the leading edge of business and technology. This is evidenced by the methods we are using to make this e-magazine available. We hope you enjoy it as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together. We welcome any comments, suggestions, or things you’d like to read about or focus on. Thank You!
WARNING: Much of the action depicted in this magazine is potentially dangerous. Do not attempt to duplicate any stunts that are beyond your own capabilities. Always use discretion and wear the appropriate safety gear.
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Weâ€™d like to thank the following advertisers for their support of the Traverse Area Trails Map
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Cover Photo Joshua Duggan Grand Rapids MI Navigation Photo Dan Mann Charlevoix MI After the Iceman Race Northern Motion Magazine is published by the Grand Traverse Mountain Bike Association, LLC PO Box 215, Acme MI 49610 Copyright by the Grand Traverse Mountain Bike Association, LLC 2012 Subscription is free to GTMTBA Members
6. FROM WAX TO WHEELS Why Mountain Bikers Should Try Skate Skiing 10. TRAILS AND ALES A Guide to Downtown Traverse City’s Brewpubs 12. GUIDE TO MODERN SNOWSHOES 16. 13 WAYS TO MAKE THE MOST OF A MICHIGAN WINTER 18. HEAD U.P. FOR THE MICHIGAN ICE FESTIVAL 20. THE FIRST ANNUAL GTMTBA AWARDS Celebrating the Best Bike People and Things in Northern Michigan 23. CAMELBAK ROGUE It’s All About the Necessities 24. LOCAL EVENTS “What to do. Where to go.” 25. OVERCOMING PLANTAR FASCIITIS 26. THE SUFFERFEST “The Indoor Training You’ll Love To Hate”
Winter 2012 Volume 1, Number 1 Published by the GTMTBA PO Box 215 Acme, MI 49610 GTMTBA.com
28. THE VASA What’s new this year 32. THE LONG WINTER TRAINING SEASON “A short Guide To Off-Season Survival” 34. KEEP YOUR DOG SANE THROUGH THE WINTER MONTHS 36. NOQUEMANON WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SNOW BIKE 25K RACE REPORT
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PHOTO: Action Sports Images
Why Mountain Bikers
Hereâ€™s to leaving the bike on the trainer this winter and getting out on the trails in a whole different capacity! 6 gtmtba.com WINTER 2012
s Should Try Skate Skiing By Kandace Chapple
PHOTO: Action Sports Images
m Wheels to Wax
ou’ve seen them go ripping by on the VASA trail. No it’s not a couple chicks on 29ers. It’s a couple chicks on skate skis. And they look good.
You want in on this, but it looks technical, hardcore and flat-out difficult. You’re right. It is. But it’s also about the best way a mountain biker can get through the winter months. There’s skill and fear, daring and accomplishment in every outing. If you like the constant decision-making that comes with mountain biking – the shift, the speed, the line to take, you’ll like skate skiing where it’s a lot of the same decisions. And, let’s not forget, you’ll get to enjoy the VASA all year round. So do the two play off of each other? Mountain biking and skate skiing? “Skate skiing is a great full body workout,” said Karl Friesen, salesman at Brick Wheels in Traverse City. “It helps cyclists come into the spring in better overall shape.”
PHOTO: Action Sports Images
Susan Vigland, area ski racer and Hagerty team cyclist, sees it like this: “Cyclists (road and mountain) are often skate skiers. Cycling and skiing are endurance sports and if you are an endurance junkie, you need a winter sport. If you enjoy exercising in the woods – it doesn’t get better than mountain biking and skate skiing.”
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Vigland says that most people can learn the basics and ski a few kilometers within the first few outings. But she points out that 5k on skate skis is much different than 5k on a mountain bike. “Skate skiing requires two things – technique and fitness.” Fitness, she says, comes with both sports. And while there’s technique to mountain biking, it’s quite different than the exacting technique needed to skate ski proficiently. Northern Motion
“You can’t just muscle and power yourself down beginners call it torture until they get the hang of the ski trail,” she said. “This is one of the things it!) that I love about skiing – there is always something Newbie mistakes: Deneen says stay loose: to learn and improve upon.” “Flex at the knees, don’t keep them straight. And Here are several tips from the local experts on keep your weight forward.” We’ve all been the guy two sticks: trying to ski with stiff legs. It isn’t pretty. On the homefront, Friesen says the most common mistake Rent or buy? Most classic skiers are guilty of is asking your spouse to teach you. Take a lesson, watching a skate skier go by and then, casually save a marriage. checking front and back, taking off down the corduroy trying to mimic the glide. You can almost The first thing to master: Vigland and Deneen taste it. Friesen said a ballpark cost for getting all both recommend working on the technique of the goods is $500. He recommends trying rentals balancing on one ski, the foundation of good or a friend’s skate skis first to see if it feels as good skating. as it looks. Best trail for beginners: Their vote? Timber The equipment: Skate skis are 10-15 cm Ridge Resort in Traverse City. They offer rentals shorter than your xc skis and the poles are 10-15 from Brick Wheels and 60k of groomed trails cm longer. The poles are also lighter than any other connecting to the Vasa trail system. Plus a warm ski pole – skilled skaters pole 40-50 times a minute. lodge and a cozy outdoor bonfire. Ski the day for The skate boots are stiffer and rise higher around $10 ($3 of which goes to TART Trails) or the the ankle for support. The bindings are built to bear season for $89/single or $109/couple or family. up under the pressure of pushing off with the side Visit www.timberridgeresort.net for deets. of your foot. The setup feels like a cross between Here’s to leaving the bike on the trainer this downhill and cross-country. winter and getting out on the trails in a whole Groomed or backcountry: There is no grip on different capacity! the bottom of a skate ski. It’s built more like a downhill ski. You stop and turn like you would on Kandace Chapple is a freelance writer and pubdownhill. And they are no fun to use on an lisher of Grand Traverse Woman Magazine. ungroomed ski trail. You can’t go backcountry (Writing comes after biking and skiing!) skiing with them, breaking trail, like you would on www.kandacechapple.com cross-country skis. You need a groomed trail… which is the fun part. You can fly down that wide-open trail. Waxing: Expect to spend $12 on a basic wax or $25 on a hand wax at a ski shop. If you want to learn how to do it yourself, take a waxing clinic. Irons cost $50-$100 on up. Blocks of wax run $12-$50. Different waxes work better at different temps. A bad choice of wax can ruin a good day of skiing. The beginning: Linda Deneen, who coordinates the local SheSkis and WeSki programs, advises going slow and getting technique down first, then building speed as ability and endurance improve. Vigland describes the movement as a slow jog – but with a lot of arm work involved. (Most 8 gtmtba.com WINTER 2012
PHOTO: Action Sports Images
Weâ€™d like to thank the following advertisers for their support of the Traverse Area Trails Map
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Trails and Ales: A Guide to Downtown Traverse City's Brewpubs By John Yonkers
nice cold brew at the end of the trail can be like the cherry on top of a sundae. For some reason, beer and bikes pair so naturally. The Iceman Cometh is sponsored by Bell’s Brewery, Mud Sweat and Beers Fat Tire Fest and Peak2Peak Mountain Bike Classic are both sponsored by Traverse City’s own Right Brain Brewery and Founders Brewing Company sponsors the Lumberjack 100; these are all perfect examples of how the beer and mountain biking realm are forever linked. Luckily, the Traverse City area is home to both great trails and an ample amount of brewpubs.
For starters, Right Brain Brewery (RBB) is located on Garland Street, nestled in between Front Street and US-31 in the Warehouse District. Right Brain is a beer bar, no kitchen, no wine or hard liquor. It’s a great place to sit down and savor a fine brew by itself. They do offer a host of local pub snacks and even a few local bottled sodas. The brewery is just a short walk from Front Street, making it a choice place to plan where you would like to eat downtown. There are ample spaces for bike parking in the front of the building, which is nice if you head in straight from the trail. RBB was built in an old warehouse so the interior is mildly industrial with the quirky touch of local artwork and other pieces that give you the truly creative feeling of being inside the right half of the brain. For those of you inclined to challenge your faculties while imbibing, RBB offers board games, darts, and minishuffleboard. RBB is also a great place to… get your haircut? Check out the Salon Saloon attached to RBB where you can get a snip while still enjoying your suds! They also have sweet cycling jerseys for sale along with a bunch of other beer goodies. For a great place to enjoy Northern Michigan craft beer roll on over to RBB. Right around the corner from Right Brain is Kilkenny’s Irish Public House. Kilkenny’s has North Peak Brews on tap. It’s located at the corner of Hall and Front Streets in the Big Daylight Candy Factory building. Kilkenny’s offers a laid back environment set in a refined industrial atmosphere; it’s 10 gtmtba.com WINTER 2012
the kind of place that anyone can enjoy. This brewpub is the place to savor artisan-quality food paired with the perfect microbrew. Their menu and beer list is sure to satisfy any foodie or beer snob in the group. You cannot go wrong with the Peak Burger and a Diabolical IPA. Roll in for a pint and some top-notch food at Kilkenny’s. If being directly downtown is more your style, you should head over to the corner of Cass and Front Streets. Here you will find Mackinaw Brewing Company. This is a great place for a brew with a view. If you sit in the front you will be treated to a great panorama of a lively section of Front Street. Sitting in the back, where the atmosphere is a little different, offers views of the Boardman River as it passes through town and a view of Grand Traverse Bay. Sitting in the back with that splendid view is the perfect place to enjoy one of the handcrafted West Bay IPAs. All of the food on the menu pairs well with the pub’s beer.
“A nice cold brew at the end of the trail can be like the cherry on top of a sundae.”
After a good ride the last thing you want to do is eat something too heavy, I suggest trying their Plevalean Burger. It is a great light alternative to a regular burger and it’s made from cherries, how cool! The service at Mackinaw Brewing is second to none. Their servers are full of personal insights about which menu items go well with their beers, which enriches the experience tremendously at Mackinaw Brewing Co. Regardless of where you end up, you won’t be sorry. All of the brewpubs offer great food, service and suds. They all also offer cool pub merchandise; so don’t forget to pick up your souvenir pint glasses, t-shirts and the obligatory growler to take home your favorite brew. So hit the trails, burn some calories, and then head into town to replenish and enjoy the company of your riding buddies. Remember to enjoy responsibly.
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Guide to Modern Snowshoes By John Yonkers
Snowshoes can easily take you many places that are usually very difficult to get to in the winter months. They also provide a great platform for safe family fun without any learning curves. If you can walk, you can snowshoe.
one are the days of making your own snowshoes out of saplings and rope, and here to stay are the days of the aluminum framed, synthetic deck masters of snow flotation. Leave those antiques hanging on the cabin wall and start looking for a new shoe with this handy guide. Letâ€™s start with the anatomy of the snowshoe: Frame: This is the tubing at the edge of the shoe; it gives it strength and supports the deck. Newer frames are made of aluminum. Deck: The synthetic, coated nylon, or plastic platform that actually gives you the ability to
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stay on top of the snow. The rear portion of the deck is usually referred to as the tail. Bindings: These hold your boot to the shoe. They are usually mounted on a pivot to allow a more natural stride. The two most common are a ratchet or friction style strap. User Footwear: Because snowshoes come with adjustable bindings they are designed to work with most winter boots or waterproof hikers. Crampon: If you flip the shoe over you will see some steel teeth. This is the crampon. They give traction on icy sections and aid in climbing and descending. Northern Motion
Now that you are familiar with the parts of the shoe, let’s decide what you will be using the shoe for. Hiking/Recreation: This is the general snowshoe; they are available at a number of area retailers. Most area rental shops provide a recreational shoe. Hiking shoes are ruggedly constructed and ready for fun right out of the box. They can take whatever you can throw at them. If you are just getting into snowshoeing you should start with a recreational model because they are usually economically priced and will help you build the necessary experience and skills without getting in too deep. Hiking shoes are capable of handling the trails in Michigan and perform just as well when you are blazing your own trail as they do on those that are groomed. Most of the
shoes that you find will be hiking or recreational style. Expedition: These shoes are made to carry the heaviest loads over terrain that has not been packed or groomed. These are generally overkill for the casual weekend hiker. You can spot an expedition style shoe because it will have a very long tail, aggressive crampons, and a wide deck. Like more expedition style gear, besides the features these are also set apart in price; they are often double the price of recreation models. If you plan on extended snowshoe camping trips or if you just want to make sure that you “stay afloat” when Northern Michigan hands you a load of new powder, an expedition style shoe may be right for you. Jogging: Trail runners rejoice. The dumping of snow that Northern Michigan receives does
LOCAL RENTALS Brick Wheels 231.947.4274
Grand Traverse Cycle 231.941.4868
Timber Ridge Resort 800.909.2327
Boyne Highlands 231.526.3000 ext. 3029
Crystal Mountain 800.968.7686 ext. 7000
Shanty Creek Resorts 800.678.4111 13 gtmtba.com WINTER 2012
not have to put an end to your favorite backwoods haunt. Using this style shoe will keep any trail runner happy and in tip-top shape throughout the winter. They are best used on a groomed or well packed trail as they are much smaller than the other styles of snowshoes. The jogging shoe is not designed to carry the loads of other style shoes, but they do deliver when you want to enjoy a brisk jog at the local groomed trail without having to lug the extra weight of the recreational shoe. These also work for those who like to speed walk or if you only plan on using groomed trails. Check the size of the shoe. Those numbers on the tail are not just for style, they have a definite meaning! At the point where you have decided on which model you want it is always smart to check out the tag on the shoes or a display nearby. Each shoe has a different design and the suggested sizing chart below may not be totally accurate with the model that you selected. Snowshoes are generally sized based on the user’s weight. (Be sure to include any gear that you may carry in this equation) · · · ·
100 to 160 lbs: 22 inch models 140 to 200 lbs: 25 inch models 200 to 250 lbs: 30 inch models 250 and up: 36 inch models
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Some manufacturers make their shoes in varying widths; this changes the length/pound requirement drastically. That is why it is always a good general rule to check the attached tag in order to assure that you will be comfortably sitting on top of the snow and not trudging through it. I suggest that you err on the side of caution and get one size larger than you need so that you can carry a pack with some water. As with all outdoor sports, there are a number of accessories that make snowshoeing more enjoyable. Some of the items that I recommend are trekking poles, snow/waterproof ankle gaiters, nordic-style sports style pants (regular snow pants can cause unneeded sweating), hydration pack, backpack or lumbar bar and a good pair of sunglasses or goggles with tinted lenses. Snowshoes can easily take you many places that are usually very difficult to get to in the winter months. They aso provide a great platform for safe family fun without any learning curves. If you can walk, you can snowshoe. So go pick out a pair and start praying for snow!
Weâ€™d like to thank the following advertisers for their support of the Traverse Area Trails Map
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13 Ways to Make the Most of a Michigan Winter By Leah Clark
es, winter. That time when some recoil into heated homes and curse each frigid flake that falls from the sky, pulling scarves close to their bitter necks. This article isn’t for them (though we wish they’d give Old Man Winter a chance). This is for a special breed of people—those who welcome the sight of fresh powder as an invitation for play, find peace in the silence of fallen snow, appreciate the sound of the wind whispering through frosted trees—you who show your infallible love of the outdoors with every extra layer of clothing you add.
No, you are not a fair-weather frolicker. You are a Michigan winter warrior. You are in good company here, my friend.
Many of these recreational activities will help you fend off cabin fever and cold-weather blues while providing a host of health benefits. 1. Skiing or Snowboarding: If you start praying for snow in October, this one is a given. But for those who weren’t raised on the slopes, it’s never too late to learn if you’re in good health. The key is to start small and build your confidence. In no time, you’ll be carving the hillside with the big kids. Popular Michigan ski resorts like Boyne, Crystal Mountain, Shanty Creek and the like, offer rentals and lessons. 2. Snowshoeing: There’s only one prerequisite to try the fastest growing winter sport in the world: Can you put one foot in front of the other? Then you can snowshoe! Find a local shop to fit you with a good pair to rent or buy, and then it’s just a matter of strapping on the shoes and setting forth. 3. Snow Biking: Talk to your bike shop to demo this fat-tired model with thick treads, wide rims and a sturdy frame, all expressly designed to brave the snow. This is Jack Frost’s sweet ride. 4. Sledding or Tubing: A timeless classic, people of all ages love the thrill of plummeting down a steep hill, wondering if the jaunt will end with a face plant in the snow. And there’s nothing like trudging back uphill, toting your speed machine, to get those lungs working.
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5. Ice Skating: Outdoor skating rinks are a delight for kids, romantic for couples and a proxy for rollerblading fanatics. Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never been; many places offer sturdy objects to cling to for support until you get your bearings. 6. Hiking: Take an interlude from your busy day and enter a monochromatic landscape of white. The quiet hush leaves you a moment with your thoughts, uninterrupted by pesky insects, stifling humidity, or clingy mud typical of other seasons. And depending on the condition of the trail, you’ll find the exercise more challenging from lifting your knees higher and slogging through the resistance of the snow. 7. Snowmobiling: Are motor sports more to your liking? Climb aboard this snow beast for a peppy adventure along any one of over 6,200 maintained trails across our beautiful mitten state. Visit the Upper Peninsula for the best-rated trails in America. 8. Kayaking: No, we’re not joking. As long as there’s clear passage, you can still take a floating trek downstream. Imagine exploring the riverside from this unique vantage point. Be smart and safe: do research, acquire the right gear, and take a fellow paddler with you. And dry-pack your camera; you’ll want to remember the striking view!
10. Horseback Riding: Bundle up, grab the reins and let your trusty steed plod along the trails. Don’t have a horse? Call ranches and stables in your area. 11. EcoTrek: West Michigan-based EcoTrek Fitness takes your gym workout to an outdoor setting by fusing cardio, strength training and flexibility in a 75-minute workout, regardless of weather. If there isn’t one near you, take a cue and repurpose your indoor fitness routine to the great outdoors. 12. Picture Tour: Pack a camera bag, get outside and get snapping. This time of year brings a new perspective, and you may be surprised at the beauty that awaits you. 13. Just Play! Tap into your inner child— build a snowman or fort, make snow angels, start a snowball fight (hey, no headshots!). With or without kids of your own, nothing beats childlike play when you have good packing snow at your feet. This winter, watch your energy take the shape of happy tracks in the snow. It’s the only season that has a way of making the fires feel cozier, the hot cocoa taste sweeter and the bedcovers more inviting. And, your newfound zest might even draw a friend out of hibernation to join you next time.
9. Running: Sign up for a race to keep those legs pumping all year long. Just do an online search, and you’ll turn up scads of running events across the state. You might also find a local running club to help you train and stay motivated.
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The ice climbing season here typically lasts from December through March, sometimes April, according to Thompson; and despite an unseasonably mild winter, ice is still forming in the U.P. and the 2012 event is still a go. Happening Feb. 2-5, climbers both beginner and advanced can demo top-of-the-line equipment for a nominal fee of $20 per day; however, plan to wake up early because participants start forming a line as early as 6 a.m.
PHOTO: Erin Crowell
Not a morning person? Sign up for one of several classes, including Intro to Ice Climbing, Intro to Leading on Ice and others. While the fee is $110, students get priority pick of equipment, entry into the weekend’s evening presentations/drawings and instruction by top ice climbing professionals. Last year, my Women’s Intro to Climbing instructor was Majka Burhardt of Colorado, a writer and professional climber/guide whose work has appeared in Outside and Climbing magazines. She’s also been around death – a lot. Climbers attempt “The Dryer Hose,” a 70-ft frozen waterfall.
Head U.P. for the Michigan Ice Festival By Erin Crowell
swing the axe over my head, connecting with the ice that sends shards of snow and ice into my face. Satisfied with the placement, I hoist myself farther up the frozen waterfall and repeatedly kick the ice with my crampons as if it owes me money. “You’ve got a little notch to your right!” yells John Nguyen, my belayer who stands several feet below me. It’s Feb. 5, 2011—the day before the Super Bowl—and I’m ice climbing in the Upper Peninsula. Held the first weekend in February, the annual Michigan Ice Festival invites beginners and professionals, children and adults, the uncertain and the fearless, to play on Munising’s frozen playground. ICE FEST 2012 “Pictured Rocks has one of the largest concentrations of ice in the country, let alone the Midwest,” says Bill Thompson, Michigan Ice Fest organizer and co-owner of the U.P. adventure sports retailer Down Wind Sports. Seventeen frozen waterfalls, a curtain of ice along the cliffs of South Bay and trickles of suspended water over sandstone ledges make up the climbing area, come winter. They contain names like Giddy Up, No Boundaries, Sweet Mother Moses, Dairyland and The Dryer Hose, a waterfall that “stands” 70-feet tall.
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“When I was twenty, my fiancé’s best friend was killed in an avalanche. I was new to climbing, and ever since then, climbing was always complicated by loss — or, at least, the threat of loss. And then, horrified, I saw it play out in all of those ways for others. I have lived on both sides of this since that moment thirteen years ago,” Burhardt wrote in a blog for Climbing magazine entitled “Whispering into a Roar”. As it is in rock climbing, safety is continually stressed in ice climbing; and Burhardt made us plenty aware of it. “It’s 1 p.m. in the afternoon,” she announced at one point, about halfway through the lesson. “What happens when it’s this late in the day?” “You get tired,” one woman responded. “You get lazy,” I added. “Exactly,” Burhardt confirmed. We double-checked everything – our knots, our gear. If we used the bathroom, someone checked our harness to make sure it was back on correctly. “If something happens to you, it’s my ass,” she added jokingly, yet there’s a touch of firmness in her voice. It may not be Everest, but Burhardt isn’t stupid. Although I’ve never been scared of heights, the way ice climbing feels in comparison to scaling rock is very different, and therefore pretty scary. While rock climbing involves balancing like a ballerina with toes pointed downward, ice climbing involves crampons (the claw-like attachments on your boots) that hold the front of your toes to the ice, keeping the soles of your feet parallel to the ground. Northern Motion
This lost sense of stability—feeling like I could teeter backwards at any moment—had me clinging to the ice like a leach, my arms holding the majority of my body weight (which is a big NO in the climbing world, both rock and ice). My biggest challenge was learning to trust my feet, and the instruction and encouragement I received from Burhardt that day proved invaluable. The rest of climbing ice involves alternately swinging two axes over your head in a sweeping, yet purposeful, motion. Sometimes it takes several swings before the tool’s teeth find just the right grip, making the process tough on your shoulders…and your patience. When you do find that solid thunk of placement, it becomes almost addicting; and the only direction you want to go is higher. Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel (pictured here with Erin Crowell) featured the Michigan Ice Festival as part of his “Cantore Stories” segment, which aired Fall 2011.
swapping stories, drinking beer, sharing laughs. Folks came from as far as Ohio, Wisconsin, Colorado and California to Michigan Ice Fest. “The first year we organized it, we only had 40 people,” Thompson says. “Today, we have a whole mix of people, from old guys to college students. Our youngest participant was 10-years-old.” Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel even made the trek out, filming for his “Cantore Stories,” which focused on the ice festival along with other Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore winter amenities. If you miss the Michigan Ice Fest for 2012, you can always rent equipment throughout the winter via Downwind Sports, located in Marquette. Rental is $55 for boots, crampons and axes. You can rent equipment for an entire weekend for $100.
PHOTO (background) Shannon Billau. Joel Billau repels down a sheet of ice, located in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Upon returning to Sydney’s each night, the restaurant/bar that acted as home base for Ice Fest, we were treated to an evening of presentations, which included Burhardt, Steven House and a handful of sponsored athletes. The presentations are enough to make you pass off the sub-100-foot climbs you just did and tackle the peaks of Nepal, Africa and the Swiss Alps. There were easily a couple hundred of the 500 festival attendees crammed into that small, upstairs room – PHOTO (right) Joel Billau. A stretch of frozen water along the sandstone ledges in Munising provides plenty of ice climbing.
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The First Annual GTMTBA Awards Celebrating The Best Bike People and Things In Northern Michigan By Cody Sovis
or the first time, we’ve compiled the best of the best in Northern Michigan’s wheel-related world. From racers and teams to events and organizations, here’s our list of the best of 2011, and what you should look for in 2012. The results were carefully considered and weighed for two months, subjected to intense scrutiny and analysis, and then compiled in the strictest secrecy on an encrypted computing system before being announced. Rider of the Year: Jorden Wakeley, Einstein Racing. Before taking 13th place in the Iceman, Wakeley already enjoyed an amazing season. The Grayling native took second at the Crybaby Classic (on a singlespeed), sixth at the most stacked Peak2Peak Mountain Bike Classic ever, and
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third place at the Wilderness 101, among other great results throughout the season. Jorden grew from a strong rider to a dominant one, racing against the best riders in the state every week with a massive target on his back. Riding against the likes of Alex Vanias and Mike Anderson in cross country races and against Gerry Pflug in the UltraTeam of the Year: Einstein Endurance events, Jorden displayed the ability to go very Racing. Ron Sanborn. Jorden fast for a very long time, and did Wakeley. Ty and Johanna Schmidt. so throughout the year. Until the Jason Whittaker. Jason Lowetz. last few races of the year, he raced And more. When Einstein was XC races with a just one gear and formed last winter, they took with still made the podium, even them the bulk of the longagainst fast riders with a full established Hagerty Cycling team. compliment of shifting options. They also immediately ignited one For such a young rider, the sky is of the most intense cycling rivals the limit and he has fans all over outside the ProTour. The Boys in the area. He has become Northern Black took on the Blue Train in Michigan’s biggest cycling talent every meaningful bike race of the in memory, and is matched in 2011 season, starting with the success against Pros by perhaps Barry-Roubaix and facing off Jeff Craven (City Bike Shop) and nearly every week until the teammate Johanna Schmidt. He Iceman Cometh in November. At has already announced his return times, it seemed almost as if the to the Traverse City-based super- battle between the two squads was squad, Einstein Racing, and is the real motivation for victory, and wins or podium places busy circling races for 2012. seemed to come just as a result. Runner Up: Jeff Craven, City Bike In particular, the almost weekly Shop duel between Einstein’s Ron Sanborn and Hagerty’s Steve Northern Motion
Andriese in the singlespeed division became the most entertaining battle at every mountain bike race. The two men are so evenly match that the race often became a knockdown, dragout brawl on the singletrack of races like Peak2Peak and the Crybaby Classic. The two consistently stormed the podium, swapping first and second places every few weeks.
comes up as a Supporting Rider, you know you’ve had a good year. After riding with the full support of his Hagerty teammates for a few years, Dan volunteered to help others gain some glory for themselves. His Master’s team was reshaped with Dan in charge of getting in the break, chasing down attacks that didn’t suit Hagerty and trying to get his squad in position to win. Rival teams had such a hard time chasing down Dan, however, that he still ended up with some outstanding results, in spite of his work for others.
Hagerty registered more podiums on the season, but also had more riders and a larger team to start with. In fact, no team in the state had as many podiums by as many different riders, Runner Up: Mike Okma, Hagerty including outstanding rides from Cycling Tim Jenema, Sue Vigland, Dan Surprise Rider of the Year: Hofstra, Lars Welton and Mike Melissa Ryba, Hagerty Cycling. Okma. Einstein had more wins with fewer riders, taking advantage of outstanding seasons from Wakely, Whittaker and the Schmidts. Chalk up Year One for Einstein, but Hagerty will be back even stronger in 2012. This is going to be a great rivalry for many years to come. Runner Up: Hagerty Cycling
PHOTO: Jody Hofstra
In the spring, Melissa Ryba was riding like a first year racer, but with lots of power and speed. On Tuesday Night Rides, Ryba was struggling to cling to the B group, fading near the end of the ride and pulling into the parking lot thoroughly wiped. Steadily, Melissa improved, especially climbing the short, steep hills of Supporting Rider of the the peninsula. By July, Melissa Year: Dan Hofstra, Hagerty was one of the top riders in the B Cycling. Whenever Dan Hofstra group and was flirting with riding
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with the A’s, and became one of the leaders in the fastest group on the Cherry Capital Cycling Club’s Monday Night Ride. The results soon followed the improvements in form, including a second place in the Cherry-Roubaix Criterium and a sixth place the next day at the State Championship Road Race. Off-road, she took second at Peak2Peak and third in her age group at the Iceman Cometh. No rider in the state improved as much in 2011, and Hagerty has to be excited about Ryba’s 2012 season. Runner Up: Keith Conway
Best Race Event: Crybaby Classic, Nub’s Nob, Harbor Springs, Michigan. If there were a few bumps in the race’s first edition in 2010, the race was smooth sailing in 2011. After listening to racer feedback, race organizer Tom Behan reshaped the event to make one of the most professionally run races in the state, now on par with the Iceman and featuring a much tougher course. They included a few sections of tough, tight and slick singletrack and included the long, painful climbs that made the Crybaby one of the most anticipated races of the year. A
PHOTO: Joel Gaff
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urging me on, even while leaving me in the dust. Tim Jenema, you are the scariest bike racer in Northern Michigan.
well-run registration site, great Suttons Bay to Three Mile Road photos, an incredible course and off Traverse City’s East Bay Arm. well-run events make this the top In addition to its trails, TART race of the 2012 season. Get it on Trails’ Smart Commute Week has your calendar right away. slowly become an area tradition, Runner Up: Mud, Sweat and encouraging residents to park the Beers, Mt. Holiday, Traverse City, car and use alternative means of travel for a week in June, and to Michigan. keep it up all year round. It also Cycling-Friendly Business puts on the Tour de TART, a fun of the Year: Higher Grounds celebration of the trails, and the Trading Co. You’ll never go past Leelanau Harvest Tour, another the Higher Grounds coffee bar non-competitive event that tours without seeing a few bikes in the the beautiful Leelanau Peninsula. rack outside the door. Located on Red Drive in the Commons, Higher Grounds is at the base of the numerous trails behind the Old State Hospital and just a few minutes from downtown. Owner Chris Treter is committed to fair trade and environmentally responsible products and business practices, so being bike friendly is a large part of the company’s plans. It even makes its local deliveries, sometimes up to 500 Racer I Would Be Terrified pounds of coffee, using a bike and To Have Chasing Me Down a trailer, and the strong legs of the With One Kilometer To Go: “Delivery Girl”, Ruth. Tim Jenema, Hagerty Cycling. While the Rider of the Year award Runner Up: Old Town Coffee, is rather prestigious, this one is Union Street, Traverse City, also important. As a rider who is Michigan. frequently caught by anyone and everyone, I’ve learned there are Cycling Organization of the some riders you really do not Year: Traverse Area Recreation want on the front of the peloton and Transportation Trails. as they charge up to your wheel. Traverse City’s TART Trails is Tim Jenema is a terrifying man. working to make Northern On the bike, he looks to be about Michigan linked together by a 7’12” and his legs look like network of safe, scenic and sycamores in motion. He’s got enjoyable paved pathways. This more power than a Ferrari and is year, TART Trails announced it willing to pull on the road, and would finish paving the Leelanau chase off of it. No rider has Trail all the way from Traverse consistently caught and passed me City’s network to Suttons Bay. in mountain bike races, and no Now, walkers, runners and one has made more of a point of cyclists can safely travel from
Camelbak Rogue: It’s All About the Necessities By John Yonkers
n the world of outdoor action sports you need gear that is specialized and tailored to the sport and conditions. But, wouldn’t it be nice if there were something that worked well in varying conditions, performed multiple services and was also usable for more than one activity? That is the case for the redesigned Rogue from Camelbak. Though it is billed as a biking bag, the components and features of this hydration pack allow it to perform well in multiple sports.
of the past. They put folding arms on both sides of the wide opening mouth that hold the pouch to allow airflow so that the unit dries thoroughly.
The most convenient aspect of the reservoir is the ease of filling. On an older model Camelbak, you used to have to carefully fill the unit and then, even more carefully, try to screw the cap on without spilling your newly filled bladder. The new design offers a honeycomb-style handle for you to grip to ensure you get The bite valve includes the “Ergo the maximum fill without losing any The Rogue offers 70 ounces (2 liters) HydroLock” lever so that your water water when closing it up. of water supply and 3.28 liters of storage supply does not dribble down the front The Rogue is made to keep the rider capacity. The older style reservoir has of your jersey while you are bounding comfortable from its air channel on the down the trail. back panel to the “Air Mesh” straps on While the tag touts that the pack was the harness. There is one minor downside designed to carry a multi-tool, spare tube, to this pack; it does not have a waist strap. pump, wallet and your keys, if packed This can cause issues when you are going correctly, you can also fit a point-and- over rough terrain or during downhill shoot digital camera, energy gels or bars, sessions. If this is a big enough problem spare gloves and a phone. The adjustable you can always fit a waist strap on mesh pouch cinches down most large yourself. When the pack started to bobble items that won’t fit in either of the two around a little I simply cinched up the shoulder straps and had no more issues. zippered pouches.
I have always had a tough time This simple pack has all of the drying my reservoirs out after use. technical features and space to been redesigned and replaced by However, with the Antidote System, accommodate you on an afternoon ride. Camelbak’s Antidote reservoir. Unlike Camelbak has made this problem a thing It would also work well for light hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and most hydration packs where the water road biking. pouch is just a plastic tube where the water pools at the bottom, creating a Pros: more than enough space, easy bulge that often robs packs of their fill reservoir, great bite valve, cool colors, accessory carrying capacity, the Antidote price (as low as $43 on Amazon). System (which comes in all of the new Con: lack of waist strap. Camelbak models) has a baffle inserted laterally in order to give the reservoir a Rating 4.5 out of 5 Sprockets. lower profile. This allows the user full access and storage capacity for the rest of the pack.
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36th Annual North American VASA, Timber Ridge, Traverse City
Gran Traversâ€™, Timber Ridge, Traverse City
Cherry Capital Winter Wow!Fest, Downtown Traverse City
Runaway Hen Showshoe Scamper, Brengman Brothers Winery, Traverse City
Boyne Highlands BrewSki Festival, Harbor Springs
Mud, Sweat & Beers Fat Tire Fest, Mt. Holiday, Traverse City
Annual Zoo-deMackinac Bike Tour, Harbor Springs
1st Annual Arcadian Grit & Gravel Mountain Bike Race, Arcadia
What to do. Where to go. For more event information, visit www.gtmtba.com/events
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Overcoming Plantar Fasciitis By Cindy Diver, Physical Therapist
ow that the season is over it's time to deal with the injuries that have been frustrating us all season. A common injury among both bikers and runners is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is located on the bottom of the foot. It travels from the medial heel along the arch and inserts into the toes. The plantar fascia functions on the concept of the windlass mechanism. When we push off our toes the plantar fascia tightens to support the medial arch. Plantar fasciitis is caused by overuse or poor foot mechanics causing tearing and inflammation of the plantar fascia. A symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain that is usually worse in the morning. It is also provoked during or after sports activity. Plantar fasciitis is secondary to overstretching of the fascia. Someone who has faulty biomechanics such as pronation of the foot, are more susceptible. Pronation is an abnormal rolling inward of the foot. Achilles tendon
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tightness can also contribute to the problem. It causes compensatory motion of the foot putting a stretch on the plantar fascia. Try some basic treatment techniques to cure plantar fasciitis. These include: icing, stretching your calf 3-5 times per day, reducing your training, massaging your heel/arch and trying an over the counter insert. In my practice as a physical therapist, I evaluate each patientâ€™s foot mechanics, shoe wear and training program. The goal is to support the foot so that the plantar fascia can heal. I can use other modalities to speed up the healing process; these include taping, orthotics, iontophoresis, ultrasound and soft tissue work. If these conservative methods don't work you may need to consult your physician.
The Sufferfest: The Indoor Training You’ll Love To Hate
By Cody Sovis
t is a rare Northern Michigan winter that, in mid-January, there's only a bit of snow outside. It has been unseasonably mild and cyclists have been able to put in a few more miles than in most winters. Try as we might to simply enjoy it, these temperatures will dive below thirty degrees, and we will have to undergo the inevitable process of indoor training. You’re going to have to do it at some point. You’ll go into your garage/basement/torture chamber and hook up the trainer, or dust off your old rollers. You will unhook your rear brake and settle in to pedal for hours and not move a single millimeter from now until March. And the worst part is the painfully, cruelly slow way time will go by. You’ve probably tried watching TV shows or movies while you pedal indoors, but even those get a bit boring. In addition, you aren’t getting as much out of your workout. There are a few cycling specific video series out there, but “The Sufferfest” is different. Instead of repetitive, uninspired interval workouts, you are out ‘racing’ the best cyclists in the world. You’ll face Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck, Robert Gesink and many others, and that’s just one video. It is not a fun, clean, encouraging video series. The video will taunt you and it will belittle you like a grade school bully. “The Sufferfest” works in varying intervals by showing real race footage from real UCI coverage, and the
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intervals are reactions to the events on the screen. It gives you both audio and visual cues, but the action on the screen tips you off. Andy Schleck attacks in the Paris-Nice? Guess what; you’re going with him. The effect is an amazing motivational lift, and you’ll find yourself digging to stay with the scrawny climbers or the big rouleurs on the time trials. “The Sufferfest” library has expanded to nine different videos, each with its own workout and theme. For instance, The Hunted is a workout based around a twenty minute solo attack, completed with both a warm-up, some intervals to breakaway, and some final excursions that take you to the line. Maybe the hardest video is Fight Club. It’s way harder than you’d ever guess from the description. While the other videos tell you what is coming up, Fight Club is a series of laps at the 2009
There are a few cycling specific video series out there, but “The Sufferfest” is different. Instead of repetitive, uninspired interval workouts, you are out ‘racing’ the best cyclists in the world. Northern Motion
World Championships. There are countless attacks, and you respond to every single one, finally chasing down Cadel Evans on the final lap and going for the win. The ‘breaks’ of that video, I’ll add, are time trial efforts. That is to say, there are no real breaks. The newest video is Hell Hath No Fury, which is the only workout video featuring the world’s top women, including Evelyn Stevens and Marianne Vos. This is the long-awaited 2x20:00 workout, the very video “The Sufferfest” tried to avoid making. However, they made it interesting with some great race footage and constantly improving production. From video to video, each installment has steadily improved, both in structure and in transition. Each video now has a real story to it, and you are really fooled into believing this race may decide your future with the fictitious Sufferlandrian squad.
The videos are available for download on their website (www.thesufferfest.com), and they are very easy to put on your iPod. If you use an Android device, you will probably have to use an application like DoubleTwist to get it to work, but most already use a similar program. While $11.99 may seem a bit steep for a video file, the workouts are exciting enough to be done numerous times before you need a change. For example, I used the same three videos all last winter and never got bored with them. This year, I’m adding a few more, just to diversify.
These are very hard workout videos. If you do them right, you will suffer. You will have an extremely hard time standing afterwards. But, you’ll be in great shape by the time spring comes around, and miles ahead of those who sat and quietly spun while watching Dexter all winter. I’d recommend The Hunted and Angels, but don’t blame me if you One negative is the music. If you don’t like find yourself bent over the handlebars crying. These dance or house music, you’re going to have get used are going to test you, and if they don’t, you aren’t to it. Every soundtrack for each video is primarily going hard enough. dance music. My dad tried the video and said it sounded like the music was scrambled, not knowing Rating 3.5 out of 5 Sprockets. that was how it was meant to sound. I personally don’t mind it at all, and even looked up a few of the tracks to buy. If you don’t like that genre, it may take awhile to stop the ringing in your ears, and using your own music from a stereo or another external will make it impossible to hear the audio cues. You could probably survive without them, but the gunshot that signals attacks is very helpful on videos like Fight Club and Angels.
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PHOTO: Action Sports Images
The VASA: Whatâ€™s New This Year
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By Kandace Chapple Northern Motion
he VASA is just around the corner! Anyone who lives, breathes or visits Traverse City has heard of the oldest Nordic ski race in Michigan, but this year’s 36th annual event, held Feb. 10-12 at Timber Ridge Resort, will offer all kinds of new goodies!
Most exciting is that the VASA is receiving national attention as it welcomes a slew of elite skiers from across the country to join the mighty local ranks. For the first time in its history, the VASA has been chosen to host the American Cross-Country Ski Association’s Masters National Championship. “The VASA Board of Directors has been anxiously awaiting this event,” said Lisa Taylor, VASA Race Director. “We look forward to sharing the world class Vasa Pathway trails, and the cozy confines of the Timber Ridge Lodge & Resort.”
PHOTO: Action Sports Images
The Big Time
Race officials expect nearly 1,000 skiers, representing almost 20 states
Race officials expect nearly 1,000 skiers, representing almost 20 states. Preparation for the National Masters has been two years in the making. Race officials owe thanks to local ski supporters who have been busy with frequent trail maintenance and upgrades through work bees in the Pere Marquette Forest and the Vasa Pathway. The Young
PHOTO: Action Sports Images
New this year for the snow-savvy kids, tweens and teens, is the addition of the Great Lakes Youth Ski Festival. These youth races will replace the former Jr. VASA races and will serve as the United States Ski Association’s Junior Olympic qualifier.
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“This year’s North American VASA weekend will not only showcase the best age group skiers in the country vying for a spot on the National Masters Team, it will also be even more of a fun filled family event with races and programs for all ages,” said Pete LaPlaca, VASA Board President.
PHOTO: Action Sports Images
Age appropriate race distances are offered to age The Short Stuff group skiers including: 5 and under, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11, Never fear. If you aren’t up for the bigger dogs 12-13, and 14-19. Supporters hope that the youth festival will become a feeder program for junior of the VASA, the 27K and 50K races, you can take a stab at the 12K, with an average finish time of an nordic ski racing in the area. hour or two. This year the 12K race has been moved “The US Ski Association has encouraged us to to the afternoon to minimize congestion from the hold an event for our youngest skiers; pre- waves in the 27K and 50K races on Saturday kindergarten through junior high,” said Eli Brown, morning. VASA board member. Held on Saturday and In all, the VASA weekend includes two full Sunday during VASA weekend, the festival will feature races, obstacle courses, relays and other days of racing with the Saturday 1-6K junior races, and the original 12K, 27K, 50K freestyle and classic junior-sized activities. races, and the Sunday Gran Travers events The Trail including 1-6K junior races, and 6K and 16K classic races. LaPlaca said they have made a number of course improvements over the summer and fall including And don’t forget the following Sunday features widening parts of the trail system, removing pinch the Healthy Heart Benefit Tour on February 19th, points and improving passing zones. What does that also at Timber Ridge. This event will be an untimed mean? It means, game on. 6-16K tour for cross-country skiers as well as snowshoers. The tour will benefit the Munson The Start Women’s Heart Health Fund. Participants will have If you’ve never been to the start of a VASA race, the option to have their “passport” checked at a you’ve gotta see it. There’s not much that can variety of stops where they can have health compare to the explosion of so many skiers taking screening tests conducted by medical personnel. off at once. But even better is the exquisite contrast For more information for registering, of their sleek bodies and stick-straight lines through volunteering or participating in any of the events, the disarray of snow-tipped trees. It’s a sight of both please go to the VASA website at www.vasa.org. grace and chaos. This year, the start area is 20% wider to allow for cleaner, safer starts with an improved sound system for the fans.
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Improve Your Winter Running by Cindy Diver
inter running can be a very enjoyable experience. As you put on your final layer of clothing, you might think about the conditions that you face outside. Usually within 5-10 minutes of running you get into your rhythm and begin to feel good. I believe there is a positive side to running in weather adversity; we become tougher! However, treadmill running can be beneficial in developing your fitness and technique. If you plan on competing this Spring, each workout has to have a purpose. That purpose will help you decide weather to run inside or outside.
You can improve your running technique and cadence while on a treadmill. The first thing to test is your running cadence. This is easier on the treadmill because you can count your strides per minute. Elite runners stride 90 steps per foot/min.. You can test your cadence by counting how many times your right foot comes forward in one minute. The problem with a slower cadence is the slower you take steps causing more air time. Your foot will hit the ground harder; this can result in injuries. Running on the treadmill helps you learn to keep a steady cadence with a variable pace.
4. Posture: You should try to have a slight forward lean of your trunk from your head to the sacrum. Interval training on the treadmill allows you to follow a workout and know your exact pace and degree of elevation. A relatively flat road outside is approximately 1 degree of elevation on the treadmill. Two of my favorite interval training sessions on a treadmill are: 1. Tempo Runs: 20 min. or 1 mile strong steady pace @ 1/2 marathon pace. Repeat 1-2 times 2. Short interval @ 5k pace. If you run an interval for 2 min. you get 2 min. rest. Repeat 5 times Combining both indoor and outdoor running can improve your fitness this Winter. You have to decide the purpose of each workout to achieve your goals. So, don your running shoes and enjoy your workout.
Most sports incorporate drills into their program to improve efficiency and technique. You can follow some basic drills to improve your stride. 1. Knee Lifts: Run with high knees 20-30 sec. Keep good alignment in your knees. Knees should come straight forward. 2. Butt Kickers: Kick your butt. If this is difficult, you might have weak hamstrings and/or tight quadriceps. Keep working on it! 20-30 sec. 3. Skipping: Works on your turnover. 20-30 sec. 31 gtmtba.com WINTER 2012
The Long Winter Training Season: A Short Guide To Off-Season Survival By Cody Sovis 32 gtmtba.com WINTER 2012
t’s here. You know the coldness looms over each and every day, stretching from now until May. It’s winter in Northern Michigan, and there is no escaping it short of an airplane ticket. Athletes of all disciplines and sports that thrive in the MidUpper Mitt’s gorgeous summers also have to learn how to train and train well in the long, dark winter season. In order to stay competitive in the spring, and to stay happy in a few feet of snow, here are a few tips on thriving from December to April. Gear - You don’t have to drop a few hundred dollars on cold weather gear in order to exercise outside. It is surprising how inexpensive a pair of running pants and a sweatshirt can be when you know where to shop, and the secret is to shop smart. Go to Goodwill or other non-profits in your area for a few sweatshirts, some sweatpants and some t-shirts for underneath. You may not win a fashion show (though who knows, you still might) but you’re only going to be sweating in that stuff anyway, so why spend more than you need to? Cold Weather Cycling - If it is thirty-five degrees outside with a ten mile per hour wind, the wind-chill brings that temperature down to a nippy twenty-seven. If you’re riding a bike, bump that wind chill factor down even further if you average twenty miles per hour. That brings the temperature down to just twenty-two degrees. At that temp, you’d lose feeling in exposed skin in just a few minutes, and run the risk of frostbite before you even had the chance to work up a sweat. Even with the right gear, sometimes it is safer to take the bike inside and use a trainer, and save the outdoor rides for when the temperature is still above forty degrees. The Pain Cave - Everyone needs one, especially cyclists. Whether it is in your basement, in your garage or in your living room, try to dedicate just a few square feet to your bike and trainer. Throw up a motivational poster, put a mirror out front so you can monitor your form and watch yourself suffer; just make it your area to put in your off-season work. Watch a TV show or a movie while you ride, but always keep it fun
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and always keep it fresh. Training videos, like the Sufferfest, serve as a great way to motivate yourself and keep your efforts honest. Just always remember to put your bike on the trainer correctly to minimize potential damage to both your bike and the trainer itself. Some of the greatest cyclists to ever live have embarrassed themselves falling off incorrectly set-up trainers, and of course I’m talking about myself. Mix It Up - Remember, it is the off-season. Runners and cyclists that don’t do active winter activities have a great opportunity to check out aerobic sports like snowshoeing and crosscountry skiing. In December, there’s a lot less anxiety about starting base work or getting in the perfect amount of training time. Join a recreation league basketball team, a soccer team, or crosstrain in other sports. Set goals to achieve for those events, and have as much fun as possible. You’ll have more than enough time to worry about fitness by the time February rolls around, so reduce the stress by enjoying a new activity on the side. Relax - If you’re a serious athlete, you devote a lot of time and energy to your sport over the spring, summer and fall seasons, and that probably means you spend less time with friends and family than you would like. This is the time to go on a trip with your family, visit with friends you haven’t seen, or if you really can’t find anything else to do, finally go see your in-laws. Enjoy some time with friends, and most of all, just devote some time to relaxing. Unless you’re getting paid, your running, cycling or other summer activity is a just a hobby, no matter how much you love it. Take time to appreciate other aspects of your life before you turn your attention back to that first road race or the early marathon. Enjoy the winter months with friends and family, and go ahead and have a piece of pie. Enjoy it all, because the preseason training is only a few months away, waiting to knock that winter insulation around your stomach right off.
Keep Your Dog Sane through the Winter Months By Leah Clark
hen the weather smiles upon us, we chasing. That’s when you know—it’s time to get usually need little reason to venture my buddy outside. But, what to do? Where to go? outside. But as the snow falls and the First, stop talking to yourself, put the laser daylight hours dwindle, we find ourselves nestled pointer down, get off the couch and consider this: in our homes, staring back at the forlorn brown eyes of our restless companions. You can still go for a walk. It sounds simple It doesn’t take a dog whisperer to know it enough, but it’s just as easy to get discouraged won’t take long before the pacing begins. Back looking outside on a winter’s day. It looks cold and forth, click-click-click on hard floors. Toys out there. Maybe it’s icy. Before long, you’ve are gnawed more voraciously. You can hardly hear prepared a mental list of excuses to stay inside, the evening news over the desperate squeaks of Mr. making the task more daunting than it really is. Squirrel. Moments later, that drool-covered toy is But in reality, you only need proper footwear and shoved insistently into your lap. You think, “But adequate dress to stay warm, dry and comfortable. And, if you go for a hike, you might encounter I just threw it 27 times! Aren’t you tired yet?” other dog owners, many who’d love a chance to And, the lack of exercise can give rise to bad let the dogs play. Check out these top Northern behavior: barking, begging, digging, neurotic tail Michigan trails: Brown Bridge, Hickory Meadows, TART Trails, Boardman Lake and Grand Traverse
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Commons Trails. Remember to be a responsible dog owner and clean up waste and for Fido’s sake, be careful to stay away from snowmobile trails and obey all DNR posted signs.
Consider doggie daycare. If you forego the after-work walks on account of the early darkness, consider enrolling Fido in pet “daycare”. Look for a spacious dog run, supervised socialization with fellow canines, and a stringent vaccination policy to confirm it will further your dog’s health and happiness instead of creating stress and anxiety. You’ll likely find a furry lump asleep at your feet before dinner.
Visit a dog park for hours of off-leash exercise. This is especially good for large, high-energy breeds that need to run and stretch their legs. No longer restricted to your pace, your pup will turn it loose and awaken his inner pack animal. Don’t have one Take up skijoring. Skinearby? Consider the next what, you say? Skijoring: alternative. where cross-country skiing meets dog sledding. Strap Find a fenced-in yourself into ski boots and baseball diamond. The your dog into the harness, and fence keeps your pooch push off. To see the sport in within eyesight, so he can run, action, check out the fetch and frolic to his heart’s GTMTBA Facebook Page to content. Perhaps schedule a watch the video. doggie date with a friend, so you and your dog each have So the next time you’re a companion of your own caught in a no-win staring species. Just remember to contest with your dog, clean up waste. Otherwise, remember you still have little leaguers might find poo options for a tail-wagging patties after the snow melts. good time. Invite the neighborhood kids to play with your dog. When children and pets play, the energy is enough to cause a small cosmic boom in your backyard. Imagine your dog bounding around the little ones, basking in children’s attention and excitement. (Okay, this is crazy talk if your dog is a close relative of Cujo.) To be safe, get the parents’ consent, and keep a watchful eye to make sure everyone’s playing nice!
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Noquemanon World Championship Snow Bike 25K race report By Danielle Musto
he Noquemanon World Championship snow bike race was held in Marquette, Michigan on January 29, in conjunction with the Noquemanon ski marathon. Despite this being the inaugural year for the snow bike championships, there was strong competition in both the menâ€™s and womenâ€™s field.
The first part of the race followed the Bagwaji/Adventure loop of the Noquemanon Trail network. Lined with snow-covered pines this section resembled a winter wonderland of sorts. However it was also the most challenging part of the course. Not only was the trail not groomed, it was also extremely hilly. The deep, soft snow made pedaling difficult and forced all of the racers off their bikes many times. Almost everyone resorted to running and walking the hills in the early miles of the race. The downhills were easier to ride, but also provided a challenge of their own. There were more then a few wipeouts in the slippery conditions. Luckily one of the
Over 70 snow bike racers lined up for the mass start, ready to race in 18-degree temps and 6 inches of snow. Several crashes near the beginning of the race proved that winning the snow bike world championship title was going to be anything but easy.
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benefits of snow biking is that crashing on snow is a lot softer then solid ground! In the men’s race Tyler Gauthier (Culvers Racing) of Ishpeming, Michigan was able to overcome a less then stellar start to claim the world championship title and official course record. After getting stuck in a snow rut at the beginning of the race, the professional mountain bike racer was forced to chase down two men in front of him. Once he bridged up to the leaders he quickly realized that making his own tracks on the ungroomed trail was easier then riding in someone else’s. After dropping his competitors Tyler time trialed the rest of the course alone. Gauthier crossed the finish line in 1st place with a time of 1:13:34. Evan Simula of Marquette Michigan finished in 2nd place with a time of 1:18:40. Tyler Jenema, also from Marquette, rounded out the podium with a time of 1:19:20. In the women’s race Danielle Musto (Salsa Cycles/Twin Six) of Grand Rapids, Michigan was able to take the lead in the first mile of the race. Though the rough trail conditions in the early parts of the race forced Musto off of her bike repeatedly, she was able to make up time in the second half. Musto crossed the finish line in first place with a time of 1:39:56.
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Behind Musto was perhaps the most competitive battle of the day. Cooper Dendel and Nicole Alexander, both from Marquette, found themselves racing side by side for second place. Cooper Dendel was able to pull ahead to finish in 2nd place with a time of 1:55:46, while Nicole Alexander finished in 3rd place less then four minutes behind. Overall the snow bike world championships were a great success and plans are already in the works for next year. At the awards ceremony promoters mentioned that the entire course would be groomed next year and racers are hoping that the snow bike race will offer a 50k option as well. Both Gauthier and Musto plan on coming back and racing next year. Northern Motion
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